Žižek : A Guide for the Perplexed
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One of the most widely-read thinkers writing today, Slavoj Žižek's work can be both thrilling and perplexing in equal measure. Žižek: A Guide for the Perplexed is the most up-to-date guide available for readers struggling to master the ideas of this hugely influential thinker. Unpacking the philosophical references that fill Žižek's writings, the book explores his influences, including Lacan, Kant, Hegel and Marx. From there, a chapter on 'Reading Žižek' guides the reader through the ways that he applies these core theoretical concepts in key texts like Tarrying With the Negative, The Ticklish Subject and The Parrallax View and in his books about popular culture like Looking Awry and Enjoy Your Symptom! Major secondary writings and films featuring Žižek are also covered.
The subject, says Lacan, is ‘in the place from which a voice is heard clamouring “the universe is a defect in the purity of Non-Being” … This place is called Jouissance, and it is the absence of this that makes the universe vain.’76 The subject is in this empty place and jouissance, that which dislocates the apparent stability of those structures which cloak this emptiness, reveals itself in those quirks and aberrations that make the other person unknowable and overwhelmingly different to
within a couple of pages or even less, seems to manically hop from one philosopher or psychoanalytic disquisition to another while analysing a scene from a Hollywood movie. His reasoning is experienced as too febrile for many readers’ 3 Žižek: A Guide for the Perplexed comfort levels and one way of rationalizing such discomposure is to suppose, quite mistakenly, that he may be wilfully confusing his audience or engaging in intellectual gymnastics for the sake of a theatrical display. The
context is a quite different one, the same underlying point is made in The Pervert’s Guide to the Cinema when Žižek, referring to The Matrix, speaks of wanting the ‘third pill’, the one that makes him ‘see not the reality behind the illusion but the reality in illusion itself’.67 We regard appearances as necessarily masking some deeper, inaccessible reality and so we posit the noumenal: The inner world, or supersensible beyond, has, however, come into being: it comes from the world of
They Do (2008b, p. 100, emphasis in original). 2 Žižek (2010b, p. 94). 3 Žižek, The Fragile Absolute (2000b, pp. 17–19); Žižek, On Belief (2001a, pp. 18–19). 4 Žižek, The Fragile Absolute (2000b, pp. 22–3). 5 Žižek, On Belief (2001a, p. 21). 6 Žižek, The Parallax View (2006c, p. 61). 7 Ibid., p. 266, p. 118; Žižek, The Fragile Absolute (2000b, pp. 17–20). 8 Žižek, On Belief (2001a, p. 15, emphasis in original). 9 Žižek, The Indivisible Remainder (2007e, p. 4); Žižek, The Sublime Object
Lafayette) 129 psychoanalysis 8, 10, 32, 44, 90, 104, 118, 125, 126–7, 129 177 Index Stravrakakis, Yannis 139 Stromboli (Roberto Rossellini) 111 Sweet Hereafter, The (Atom Egoyan) 95 First As Tragedy, Then As Farce 141 For They Know Not What They Do 11, 106–9 Fragile Absolute, The 142 Fright of Real Tears, The 5, 110, 127–9 How To Read Lacan 137 In Defense of Lost Causes 3, 138–9, 141 Indivisible Remainder, The 57, 119–20 Interrogating the Real 145 Lenin Reloaded 146 Living in the End Times